Italy hitch-hiker essentials

Hitchhiking in Italy

Italy hitch-hiker essentials

Types of roads

Autostrade symbol in Italy1) Autostrade (Motorways, A-roads) – motorways with the speed limit of 130 km/h.The majority of them are toll roads. Hitch-hiking on them is illegal.


Strade extraurbane principale symbol, Italy 2) Strade extraurbane principale (Main extra-urban road, SS-roads or Type-B) – lower rank motorways (often dual carriageways) with a speed limit of 110 km/h. They are never toll roads. They usually lead to cities or town centres. Hitch-hiking on them is illegal.


3) Strade extraurbane secondarie (Secondary extra-urban road, Type-C) national roads with speed limit of 90 km/h. They are single carriageway roads. Hitch-hiking on them is legal, unless stated otherwise.

4) Strade urbane di scorrimento (Urban highway, D-type) – They are dual carriageways with a pavement. The speed limit on them is 70 km/h. Hitch-hiking on them is legal.

5) Strade urbane (Urban road, E-type) – They are single carriageways with a pavement. The speed limit on them is 50 km/h. Hitch-hiking on them is legal.

Map of motorways (autostrade)

Italy hitch-hiker essentials

Map of motorways and dual carriageways
(Type B & C which are illegal to hitch-hike on)

Italy hitch-hiker essentials

green – motorways (A-type roads)
blue – B-type / C-type roads longer than 30km, inc. SS 11 and SS Torino-Chivasso 114 Augusta-Siracusa road.

Speed limit on Italian roads

Italy hitch-hiker essentials

Absolutely essential hitch-hikers phrasebook

HelloCiao (CHA-oow)
Thank youGrazie. (GRAHT-tsyeh)
YesSì (SEE)
No – No (NOH)
PleasePer favore. (PEHR fah-VOH-reh)
Excuse meMi scusi. (mee SKOO-zee) (more formal) / Scusa (SKOO-sah) (less formal)
How are you? – Come stai? (koh-meh STAI?)
GoodbyeCiao (CHA-oow) / Arrivederci. (ahr-ree-veh-DEHR-chee)
Hitch-hikingautostop (AW-to-stop)
I don’t have money –  Non ho soldi (Non oh SOL-dee)
we don’t have moneyNon abbiamo soldi (Non a-BYAH-moh SOL-dee)
moneysoldi (SOL-dee)
I’m going to … – Io vado a … (EE-yo VA-doh ah…)
We are going to … – Abbiamo a… (a-BYA-moh ah…)
Where are you going? – Dove vai? (DOH-veh VAH-ee?
Can we go with you? – Possiamo venire con voi? (pos-YA-moh veh-NEE-reh con VO-ee?)
I am… – (io) sono (EE-yo SOH-noh)
I am from… – (io) sono de… (EE-yo SOH-noh deh…)
Nice to meet you! – Piacere (pya-CHE-reh)
I don’t understand – Non capisco (Non ka-PIECE-koh)
now – ora (OH-rah)
today – oggi (OHD-jee)
yesterday – ieri (YEH-ree)
tomorrow – domani (doh-MAH-nee)
friend –  amico (ah-MEE-coh)
→ Very useful when they ask you where you’re staying. The concept of Couchsurfing is often too difficult to explain, so just say you’re staying with a friend. You can also use this word to express the relationship between you and your fellow travellers.
Can you stop? – Potete fermare? (poh-TEH-teh freh-MAH-reh)
I want to get out – Voglio scendere (voh-LYOH SHEN-deh-reh)
Turn left – Girare a sinistra! (gee-RAH-reh ah see-NEE-strah)
Turn right – Girare a destra! (gee-RAH-reh ah DEH-strah)
Straight ahead – Dritto (DREE-toh)
Here – qui (kwe)
Do you have… (in a shop, literally “is there?) – C’è…? (CHE..?) or Ci sono… (plural) (CHEE SO-noh…?)
beer –  la birra (lah beer-RAH)
You should know this word, you will be often invited for some.
bus stationstazione dell’autobus (stah-DSYOH-neh dehl-LOW-toh-boos)
→ You should know this word and listen out for it to avoid situations when your driver, in their best intentions, takes you off the road and drives you to a station.
train stationstazione ferroviaria (stah-DSYOH-neh fehr-roh-VYAH-ryah)
Help! – Aiuto! (ah-YOO-toh!)
Look out! – Attento! (ah-TEN-toh)
street – strada (STRAH-dah)
road – via (VEE-yah)
roundabout – rotonda (ro-TON-dah)
crossroads – crocevia (croh-che-VEE-yah)

Border crossings

Italy hitch-hiker essentials

Italy – EU countries

Since Italy belongs to the EU, border crossings with fellow EU states and Schengen countries (Vatican City, San Marino, Switzerland)  have become obsolete. They are no longer manned and thus should not present any problems for travellers.


written by: Ania

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